Healthcare innovation doesn't happen overnight, or even within three years. On March 23, the U.S. reached the third anniversary of President Barack Obama's signature on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Much of the attention on the law is trained on the administration's rush to assemble the necessary infrastructure and public awareness in every state to carry out a massive expansion in health insurance coverage in 2014. But policymakers also are nervously fixated on the slow progress of the push to refashion the way healthcare is delivered, which is the unheralded heart of the law.
Healthcare providers are experimenting with new ways of doing business. Many of them, such as accountable care organizations and retail health clinics, are nurtured by a combination of the reform law's changes in Medicare payment policy—providers will get less for hospital care—and competitive responses to a changing marketplace.
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